When Guarding Student Data Endangers Valuable Research
Susan Dynarski | New York Times (Upshot Blog)
June 13, 2015
University of Michigan Public Policy professor, Susan Dynarski, warns researchers of pending legislation that would curtail sharing of educational data with researchers:
In response to such concerns, some pending legislation would scale back the authority of schools, districts and states to share student data with third parties, including researchers. Perhaps the most stringent of these proposals, sponsored by Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, would effectively end the analysis of student data by outside social scientists. This legislation would have banned recent prominent research documenting the benefits of smaller classes, the value of excellent teachers and the varied performance of charter schools.
Below is a summary of Vitter’s proposed legislation from his office:
Vitter Introduces Student Privacy Protection Act
David Vitter, R(LA) | From David’s Desk
May 14, 2015
The Federal Reserve released the 2014 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking on May 27, 2015.
From the press release:
The Federal Reserve Board’s latest survey of the financial and economic conditions of American households released Wednesday finds that individuals’ overall perceptions of financial well-being improved modestly between 2013 and 2014 but their optimism about future financial prospects increased significantly.
Download full report (PDF)
The Pew Research Center released a report exploring how the United States, Germany and Italy are coping with an increasing population of people aged 65 and older.
The United States is turning gray, with the number of people ages 65 and older expected to nearly double by 2050. This major demographic transition has implications for the economy, government programs such as Social Security and families across the U.S….
Germany and Italy, two of the “oldest” nations in the world, after only Japan, are already where the U.S. will be in 2050: a fifth of the population in each country is age 65 or older.
See also: Americans are aging, but not as fast as people in Germany, Italy and Japan (also from Pew) and Why the Oldest Person in the World Keeps Dying (from FiveThirtyEight).
Jens Manuel Krogstad of Pew Research Center lists 5 Facts About Latinos and Education:
Educational attainment among U.S. Latinos has been changing rapidly in recent years, reflecting the group’s growth in the nation’s public K-12 schools and colleges. Over the past decade, the Hispanic high school dropout rate has declined and college enrollment has increased, even as Hispanics trail other groups in earning a bachelor’s degree.
The New York Times Upshot continues to make interesting use of Raj Chetty’s Equality of Opportunity project. In an article posted today, they ask readers to draw a graph of their best guess of how family income affects children’s college chances, then explore (in real time) how other readers are guessing compared with the actual data.
When: Thursday, June 11, 2015, 1:00-2:30 pm (EDT)
From the e-mail invitation:
Studies show that a growing number of U.S. families have incomes so low that the difficulties of their living situations may be masked by thinking of the poor as a homogeneous group. For instance, since the mid-1990s the number of families living on less than $2.00 in cash per person per day has more than doubled. Over the same interval, a smaller share of government social welfare spending has gone to the deeply poor.
This webinar will address issues such as how these families subsist, what public assistance they receive, and what their health challenges are. It will feature presentations from key Johns Hopkins researchers on this topic: sociologist Kathryn Edin, economist Robert Moffitt, and epidemiologist Jacky Jennings. It will be moderated by sociologist Andrew Cherlin.
Their presentations will be followed by 10-15 minutes of Q&A.
This webinar is co-hosted by the Hopkins Population Center and PRB’s Center for Public Information on Population Research, with funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Joining the online webinar is free. Participants who choose to listen to the audio via telephone are responsible for their own standard long-distance rates.
The New York Times Upshot examines the rise of college tuition and fees and the restriction of in-state tuition breaks and what it means for the affordability of higher education.
Part of this story is familiar to anyone who has watched public universities raise tuition and fees, in some cases by 50 percent or more. But there’s another, less obvious, part of the story. Many of the most elite public universities are steadily restricting the number of students who are allowed to pay in-state tuition in the first place.
A result is the creeping privatization of elite public universities that have historically provided an accessible route to jobs in academia, business and government. One of the most important paths to upward mobility, open on a meritocratic basis to people from all economic classes, is narrowing.
See also: Readers’ Turn: The ‘Rat Race’ of College Competition.
Danny DeBelius of NPR’s Visuals Team discusses how geographic data is represented on maps and ways to make the visualization more accurate. The visualization they have landed on is the Hex-Tile map.
H/T Flowing Data, which shows other ways of producing this kind of map, including sheep and Darth Vaders.